News and Events
JASPERS Stakeholders meeting in Athens on 11 December, 2014
JASPERS’ sixth Stakeholders meeting took place in Athens on 11 December, 2014. The event was attended by over one hundred representatives of the JASPERS beneficiary countries and by JASPERS' partners (EIB, DG Regional Policy and EBRD). Representatives from Turkey, currently not a beneficiary country, also attended the meeting. Stakeholders Meetings are an opportunity for partners and beneficiary countries to discuss issues of mutual interest and to provide feedback to JASPERS.
The 2014 meeting was structured around five panel sessions:
1) The expansion of JASPERS: how can JASPERS better address the demands of Member States in the period 2014-2020?
2) A more efficient project approval process: the role of IQR (Independent Quality Review)
3) Enhancing the delivery of JASPERS expertise and cross-sector advice through the new Networking and Competence Centre
4) Connecting Europe Facility
5) The new CBA guidelines
Some of the topics were discussed in round tables and a spokesperson in each table summarised the discussion, creating a framework for interactive discussion and exchange of ideas.
“JASPERS has shown it can play a vital role by speeding up delivery of investment in projects that promote growth and jobs, whilst ensuring cost-effectiveness, sustainability and compliance with EU policies”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. “It is time now to build on this success for the benefit of the whole of Europe”.
"We see JASPERS playing on a key role in the new Investment Plan announced by President Juncker – helping the Member States to put in place the building blocks for future growth" said Nicholas Martin, Deputy Director General of the European Commission (DG Regional Policy).
For the projects proposed by Greece, said Kostas Skrekas, Minister of Development and Competitiveness of Greece, “this role can be performed by JASPERS”: “Our cooperation with JASPERS will be reinforced, and the procedures for approving and implementing these projects will be accelerated”.
JASPERS Stakeholders meeting in Malta on 15-16 April, 2013
JASPERS fifth Stakeholders meeting took place in Malta on 15-16 April, 2013. The event was attended by over one hundred representatives of the JASPERS beneficiary countries and by JASPERS' partners (EIB, DG Regional Policy, EBRD and KfW). Stakeholders Meetings are an opportunity for partners and beneficiary countries to discuss issues of mutual interest and to provide feedback to JASPERS.
The 2013 meeting was structured around three sessions:
1) The practice of JASPERS cooperation / Lesson learnt in the 2007-2013 programming period
2) The activity of JASPERS in the 2014-2020 programming period
3) The transition between the two programming periods
Each of the three topics was discussed in round tables and a spokesperson in each table summarised the discussion, creating an appropriate framework for interactive discussion and exchange of ideas.
There was a general agreement that JASPERS adds value and an overall positive assessment of the support received from JASPERS with specific benefits in terms of deadlines for approval of projects, felxibility and objectivity.
The proposal to have JASPERS act as an Independent Quality Reviewer (IQR) was welcomed and there was unanimous support for JASPERS newly launched knowledge tool, the Networking Platform.
Member States representatives emphasised the importance of having the right expertise in the IQR function in order to guarantee its independence, including from JASPERS project preparation work.
JASPERS' Stakeholders meeting in Zagreb on 13-14 June 2012
JASPERS fourth Stakeholders meeting took place in Zagreb, Croatia on 13-14 June, 2012. The event was attended by over one hundred representatives of the JASPERS beneficiary countries and by JASPERS' partners (EIB, DG REGIO, EBRD and KfW). Stakeholders Meetings are an opportunity for partners and beneficiary countries - the 12 Central and Eastern European Member States and Croatia - to discuss issues of mutual interest and to provide feedback to JASPERS.
In his opening remarks Jaksa Puljiz, Croatia's Deputy Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, underlined the importance of JASPERS support to prepare projects eligible for grant assistance under Structural Funds
At this year's meeting, structured around six panel sessions, the Commission outlined the remaining challenges for the existing programming period (2007-2013) and the latest developments of the new Regulations.
JASPERS also presented to its Stakeholders a Networking Platform, currently in a start-up phase. This platform is aimed at spreading best practices and to host interactive forums on topics of interest for the JASPERS community.
EIB's Vice President Anton Rop, who represented the Bank's Management Committee at the meeting, praised the contribution of JASPERS to improve project quality and the absorption of funds.
JASPERS assistance extended to Croatia ahead of EU accession
JASPERS will assist Croatia in the identification and preparation of projects eligible for grant assistance under the EU Structural Funds and the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA).
The terms and conditions for this assistance, which was specifically requested by Croatia, were formalised in a Contribution Agreement between the Commission and the EIB that was signed on 22 December 2011.
In 2011 JASPERS began its work in Croatia, providing input for the preparation of infrastructure projects. The main focus is on environmental and transport projects but support can cover projects in other sectors, such as knowledge economy and fight against climate change, which become eligible for support after EU accession and are a priority for the EU 2020 strategy.
JASPERS Stakeholders' meeting in Budapest on 7-8 April 2011
JASPERS held its third Stakeholders meeting in Budapest, Hungary on 7-8 April 2011. The first such meeting took place in Krakow, Poland in May 2009 and the second in Sofia, Bulgaria in June 2010. The specific objective of this year's meeting was to identify measures to better assist countries/managing authorities/final beneficiaries in improving the quality of submissions as well as streamlining the application process. The event was attended by some 100 representatives from managing authorities and line ministries from the JASPERS-supported countries, and by representatives of JASPERS partners, including the Commission (DG REGIO), EIB, EBRD and KfW.
In his introductory remarks to the first session on “JASPERS Strategy 2011-2013”, Rudolf Niessler (Director, DG REGIO) said: "In the next two years, according to the latest forecast, 264 applications will be submitted. The quality of these applications will be crucial. On our side, we should consider taking important steps to increase the efficiency of processing of applications".
The second session, chaired by Agustin Auria (Head of JASPERS, EIB), included an analysis of interruption letters; of the guidelines for the preparation and review of applications; of the new Completion Note format; of the imprtance of progress bilateral and trilateral meetings; and of the key remaining horizontal issues.
On 8 April, Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen (Vice President, EIB) chaired the morning session, continuing the discussion on the outstanding points of the second session and taking a closer look at the future of JASPERS after 2013. "JASPERS is unique at creating public knowledge and at establishing public and collective memory. Nothing, however, can replace the public administration and the role of the managing authorities. In the long run, nothing can be really effective without ownership", said Mr Kollatz-Ahnen.
Mr Kollatz-Ahnen also chaired the third session, focussing on the future perspectives of JASPERS and including an overview of the timetable and process for the preparation of new Regulations and a debate on the Member States' views on the future demand for JASPERS.
All panel discussions comprised presentations from the managing authorities participating at the meeting and were followed by a lively debate.